What was the court thinking in Povetkin-Wilder?

April 26, 2018

The ruling in the Alexander Povetkin-Deontay Wilder case last week was a surprise for many that have been following the case.

Opinion and Order by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd


The lawsuit was based upon a drug test which Povetkin failed in lead-up to a fight with Wilder in Russia.  Wilder did not travel to Russia after learning of the failed drug test.  Wilder first sued Povetkin and his promoter World of Boxing as a result of Povetkin’s failed test.  Povetkin filed counterclaims against Wilder for failing to go to Russia 7 days prior to the bout date to which Povetkin claims was a breach of the Bout Agreement.  He also filed defamation claims against Wilder for bad-mouthing the heavyweight after drug test results revealed he took Meldonium.

The Court opinion deciding the Summary Judgment motions relied on the Bout Agreement which was subject to the World Boxing Council’s Rules and Regulations.  It cited language in the Agreement which stated that “any dispute or controversy” would be bound by the Rules and Regulations of the WBC.

Another layer of this dispute revolves around purse money placed in escrow for the fight.  Wilder had written the escrow company to hold the money until a court decided the outcome.  Povetkin and World of Boxing objected to this and sued claiming a violation of the duty of good faith and fair dealing.  In addition, they claimed that Wilder had violated the terms of the Bout Agreement and should be subject to a liquidated damages clause of $2.5 million.  Wilder was due $4.5 million to fight Povetkin while Povetkin was due $1.9 million.  In addition, there was a $715,000 bonus for the winner.

In February 2017, a jury just took 32 minutes to determine that Povetkin took the banned substance Meldonium post-January 1, 2016, however that did not mean much in the outcome of this Summary Judgment motion.

One of the overarching issues in the lawsuit as to who is to blame for the failed fight in Russian in May 2016.  You might infer from the news of a failed drug test from Povetkin that it was the Russian.  However, Povetkin claimed that Wilder’s failure to appear in Russia forced the hand of the regulating body, the WBC, to call off the fight.

The WBC Bout Agreement takes precedent here as the Court examines the contract in applying basic contract principles.  But in its application, there seem to be things that don’t make sense.

“We begin by noting that the Bout Agreement contains no language mandating that each fighter refrain from ingesting banned substances.”

The inference one might yield from this sentence of the Court opinion is that tis ok to used banned substances.  Based on this, the Court held that Povetkin did not breach the Bout Agreement because it cannot conclude when/if he ingested the banned substance Meldonium. Obviously, this is opposite the jury finding.

The good news for Wilder is that there was no finding of a breach of the Bout Agreement when Wilder did not go to Russia for the fight with Povetkin.  The Court notes, “[t]here is simply no evidence that the WBC’s postponement decision was a “normal or foreseeable consequence” of Wilder’s actions, or that Wilder’s acts otherwise caused the WBC’s decision.”  Povetkin and World of Boxing sought $2.5 million in liquidated damages that was part of the Escrow Agreement.  “While the WOB Parties argue that it was Wilder’s failure to appear in Moscow, rather than Povetkin’s positive test result, that caused the WBC to postpone the Bout…no reasonable jury could indulge in the speculation that would be required to conclude that this was so,” stated the Court opinion.  It went on to state, “[B]ecause a reasonable jury could not find that any breach by the Wilder Parties proximately caused the WOB Parties’ damages, the Wilder Parties’ motion for summary judgment dismissing the WOB Parties’ claim for breach of the Bout Agreement is granted.”

As for the escrow funds, World of Boxing is entitled to its release held in escrow but no interest because no judgment was entered against Wilder.

The claims for defamation filed by Povetkin remain although they may be dismissed pending further movement in this case.

The Court opinion seems to fly in the face of the original jury finding that Povetkin took Meldonium post-January 2016.  The opinion seems to lean entirely on the WBC Agreement for its determination on its procedure in determining the status of Povetkin based upon his drug tests.  The Court quotes WBC Rules and Regulations when it notes, “the WBC may in its discretion consider all factors in making a determination regarding responsibility, relative fault, and penalties, if any.”

The WBC did not issue a ruling on Povetkin’s positive drug test until August 17, 2016.  It noted that it called the bout off and reserved any further ruling.  It then determined that it was not “possible to ascertain that Mr. Povetkin ingested Meldonium after January 1, 2016.  After two additional rulings by the WBC which opposed the August 17, 2016 ruling, it overturned the decision and stuck with its August ruling.  It based this on a study showing Meldonium having the ability to stay in one’s system for more than five months.  It also noted Povetkin had negative drug tests six other times.

The WBC seemed to be dragging its feet in this case as it put off the ruling on Povetkin despite the litigation moving ahead.  There’s also the issue of Povetkin’s positive test for ostarine which happened after the lawsuit began.  Yet, the WBC did not penalize him for this and even stressed negative drug tests notwithstanding the two positive tests for Meldonium and ostarine.

This ruling seems ripe for an appeal.  The jury verdict seems to fly in the face of the Court’s ruling last week which seemed to defer to the WBC’s handling of the Povetkin matter.  Wilder’s side may just put this case behind them unless Povetkin is allowed to pursue its defamation claim.

Does Leslie Smith have standing to sue the UFC?

April 25, 2018

Leslie Smith is threatening legal action against the UFC after the end of her contract with the company.  But does she have legal standing to sue?

Smith’s last fight on her contract was to be against Aspen Ladd this past Saturday in Atlantic City.  However, Ladd missed weight and Smith, well within her rights, refused to fight.  The UFC provided Smith with her show and win purse.  The UFC also determined that they would not re-sign Smith.

The UFC does not always give fighters their show money and win bonus in scenarios where a fighter misses weight.  Vitor Belfort’s fight this past January is an example.  Belfort requested pay after being ready to fight Uriah Hall in St. Louis but Hall dropped out during fight week.

But, the UFC’s move to pay Smith and then decide to let her go seems suspect.  Smith has been outspoken about fighters united to come together for better work conditions.  She has touted Project Spearhead, a movement to encourage fighters to determine whether they should be considered employees and been vocal on social media about better rights for athletes.

In an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Smith indicated that she is considering legal action against the UFC and has even opened up a GoFundMe to help with legal fees.

Payout Perspective:

I’m interested with this strategy by Smith because it gives the UFC time to devise a strategy to deal with this situation.  But, the first question that must be answered is whether she would have standing to sue the UFC.  While it would be great to get the NLRB acting here, the first hurdle for Smith is whether or not she has standing to sue the UFC.    Also, what are her claims?  The UFC paid her out and decided not to re-sign an independent contractor.  While her grievances may indicate issues with the UFC and how it handles its independent contractors, the issue as to whether or not UFC fighters are employees would be hard to prove for Smith.   Clearly, the UFC’s decision (which seems poor since they could have just paid her and decide at a later date to not re-sign her) to let her go may be due to her outspoken views on fighter rights but the legal connection would be hard to prove.

Smith could sue seeking a declaratory judgment which would not grant her money damages but a court ruling clarifying UFC athlete’s status.  But, then again, the question is whether she has standing to sue.  Since she is now a former UFC fighter, she would be requesting a court to seek the status of a group of contractors she no longer belongs to and that would not work.  There is also the possibility that she sues under theory of a constructive dismissal in which due to work conditions, she was terminated although she was not actually fired.   But, based on the facts of the situation (she was paid and not re-signed), that is hard to prove.

These are only a couple theories out there, but with a GoFundMe, a lawsuit is in the near future.

Court decides Povetkin-Wilder Summary Judgment motions

April 20, 2018

The Southern District of New York has ruled on dueling Summary Judgment motions from Alexander Povetkin and his promoter of World of Boxing and Deontay Wilder.  In a ruling issued Thursday, the court has granted in part and denied in part both parties’ motions.   However, a closer read reflects that World of Boxing made out better than Wilder.

Opinion and Order by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

The Court first notes that despite a jury trial finding that Povetkin ingested Meldonium after January 1, 2016, he did not breach the bout agreement.

From the Court opinion:

It has been conclusively determined as a result of the jury trial in this matter that Povetkin ingested Meldonium after January 1, 2016.  It is undisputed that Povetkin’s urine sample provided to VADA on April 27, 2016 tested positive for Meldonium. Nonetheless, neither of these is a breach of the Bout Agreement.

The opinion relies on the contract terms and the rules agreed to by the parties infers that there it “does not require absolute abstinence from the use of banned substances, but by its terms requires that the boxer abide by “WBC anti-doping requirements.”  In turn, the CBP also provides that “the WBC shall have complete discretion to rule on culpability . . . . [And] may in its discretion consider all factors in making a determination regarding responsibility, relative fault, and penalties, if any.”

One might consider this a broad interpretation of the contractual provision regarding banned substances.   The Court goes on to essentially tell us that the jury trial didn’t matter because the WBC didn’t believe it could determine that Povetkin did not violate the Bout Agreement:

In this case, after issuing several conflicting and indecisive rulings, the WBC finally decided on November 7, 2017 that notwithstanding the jury’s verdict in this case, it would adhere to its earlier decision that it was not possible to determine whether Povetkin ingested Meldonium after January 1, 2016.  In other words, the WBC exercised its discretion to determine that Povetkin did not violate the CBP [Clean Boxing Program, the drug testing entered into by the boxers].”

In addition, the Court has released the escrow funds held up by Deontay Wilder after the fight did not go forward.  However, the Court did not grant WOB the $2.5 million in liquidated damages that was included in the escrow agreement which would have been triggered if it was found that there was a breach.  The Court noted that there was not a judgment filed against Wilder and that his representatives made the objection for disbursement in accordance with the agreement.  The Court did not find a breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. It also did not find Wilder guilty of breaching the Bout Agreement for not showing up in Russia for the fight as the Court opines that there was no evidence of his absence for the fight in Russia caused the cancellation.

A teleconference on the case will take place on April 26th.  At this point, the only claim that is left is WOB’s defamation claim which was stayed by the Court.

Payout Perspective:

It appears that the long, winding road of this litigation may be over pending an appeal.  And, it would not surprise me if an appeal would be in order.  The opinion essentially mutes any reason for the February 2017 jury trial which found that Povetkin ingested Meldonium post-January 2016.  The Court relies on the WBC’s later ruling on the matter to conclude that there was no actual breach of the Bout Agreement.  Frankly, the claim that “absolute abstinence” from taking banned substance is not a part of the Bout Agreement, rather compliance with the drug regulator is absurd.  Not only does it parse the meaning of the reason behind not taking banned substances, it is a “lawyerly” way around taking a hard-line approach on illegal drugs.

 

The issue of the Escrow Agreement is another interesting ruling but one that seems to have been decided correctly.  Although one might infer that Wilder attempted to hold up payment (or reimbursement) to WOB or Povetkin, it was the correct way to decide the disbursement of funds.  I don’t think that this part of the matter will be over yet.

 

MMA Payout will have more on this in the coming days.

Canelo agrees to NAC suspension for drug test failure

April 18, 2018

At Wednesday’s Nevada Athletic Commission disciplinary hearing, Canelo Alvarez entered into an Adjudication Agreement agreeing to a six month suspension of his boxing license for failing two drug tests with the presence of the banned substance Clenbuterol.

MMA Payout has obtained a copy of the Adjudication Agreement from the NAC via public records request:

Saul Alvarez – Adjudication Agreement – Signed by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Payout Perspective:

The six-month suspension seems fair considering Alvarez denies wrongdoing but decided not to defend his claims.  The suspension, convenient or not, allows Alvarez to return to the ring in September right around the time of Mexican Independence Day weekend – a traditional boxing PPV date.  The Agreement includes a paragraph citing that Alvarez denies intentionally taking Clenbuterol and another indicating he believes the cause was due to contaminated meat.  Regardless, this gives Alvarez the spring off to get ready for September.  Will there still be bad blood between Alvarez and the commission if/when he’s allowed to concern?  Or, will Golden Boy put it past them when their fighter comes back (and decides the venue of the event) considering the amount of money they’ll make when Canelo finally gets in the ring with GGG.

Zuffa files opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification in Antitrust Lawsuit

April 16, 2018

Earlier this month Zuffa filed its opposition to the Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification in the Antitrust lawsuit filed in Nevada.  Back from Spring Break, MMA Payout takes a look at the motion.

Zuffa Oppo to Class Cert by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 are four elements needed to show class action status is viable: Numerosity, Commonality, Typicality, and Adequacy.  Zuffa argues against each element for class action status.

The opposition brief goes in depth on the reasons why the 6 named Plaintiffs cannot represent the two broad classes contracted by Zuffa.  They argue that the claims are not the kind that should be decided as a class.  Rather, one of their main arguments is that the factual claims set forth by each plaintiff differ and there is no “typicality” of defenses or “commonality” of evidence.  Zuffa argues that the expert reports and opinions submitted by Plaintiffs are insufficient to buttress the argument that the claims are those that can be tried through class action certification.

The two classes that Plaintiffs seek to represent are the “Bout Class,” the class of athletes who competed in UFC bouts during the class period and the “Identity Class,” those athletes alleged to have their identities “expropriated” by Zuffa.  Nathan Quarry is the only named plaintiff to be a part of the Identity class according to Zuffa.

Zuffa outlines reasons why the Bout Class is defective:

  1. Plaintiffs cannot adequately represent the class because none of them currently compete in UFC promoted bouts, and their claims are not typical of others in the putative class, such as the current athletes they seek to represent.
  2. Plaintiffs cannot establish the requisite elements of an antitrust violation with common evidence. Essentially, Zuffa argues that the class of purported affected individuals is vast and a finding that the entire class was “coerced” into exclusive contracts is unlikely.  Zuffa also cites that the existent of local markets for live MMA entertainment means that individual issues predominate for all of those markets.
  3. Zuffa does not have a pay structure or follow a policy of “internal equity” according to the legal filing. They argue that the regression theory posited by Plaintiffs “cannot distinguish whether common or individual factors account for the variations in athlete compensation.”
  4. Zuffa also claims that the putative class is “unmanageable” due to the inability for Plaintiffs to identify which athletes would still be competing for Zuffa or any other MMA Promoter

Zuffa argues that the Plaintiffs’ cases are not typical of one another.  The “test of typicality” looks to “whether other class members have been injured by the same course of conduct.” The requirement evaluates whether defendant’s defenses would be similar for the Putative class representative.  Zuffa argues that the defenses vary based upon the athlete.  It identifies having varied defenses when dealing with Plaintiff Nathan Quarry, Brandon Vera, Cung Le, Javier Vazquez, Jon Fitch and Kyle Kingsbury.

The purpose of “adequacy” is to “uncover conflicts of interest between named parties and the classes they seek to represent.”  Here, Zuffa argues that the Plaintiffs are retired or compete elsewhere.  None of the Plaintiffs currently fight in the UFC.  Thus, they would not be representative of the current class of UFC fighters as Zuffa argues that they would be more interested in money damages rather than injunctive relief.

In its argument rebutting the commonality element for class action status which allows certification if questions of law or fact common to class member predominate, Zuffa argues that Plaintiffs’ alleged theory of liability is incapable of proving liability with common evidence.  Here, Zuffa argues that the factual issues for each case differs and the commonality requirement would not apply here.  Zuffa goes on to argue with respect to the allegation that athletes were “coerced” into UFC contracts, Plaintiffs’ claims require “mini-trials for each plaintiff and class member on the issue of whether they voluntarily entered into their contracts.” Additionally, they claim that individualized evidence will be required to determine injury and show an antitrust violation.

The opposition motion includes declarations from Stephan Bonnar, Kenny Florian and Jim Miller which reflect the tone that the fighters made a choice to fight in the UFC instead of being forced to do so because of the economic market conditions.

Here are some other observations:

-Zuffa cites the U.S. Supreme Court case of Comcast Corp., et al. v. Behrend, et al. which found that the plaintiffs in that case failed to establish a sufficient connection between their alleged theory of liability and their claimed damages.  Highlighted in the opinion was the need to conduct a “rigorous analysis” to determine whether the standard has been met.  Similarly, Zuffa argues that the Plaintiffs have a similar problem with their case.

-According to an excerpt from Michael Mersch’s deposition, in order to re-sign Zuffa athletes before their contracts expire, the company offers higher guaranteed compensation for their next bout as an incentive to sign a new agreement.  Zuffa argues that the individual athlete makes the decision as to whether to sign or not and their reasons differ on the decision.

-Zuffa notes that there is “no testimony that promoters could not obtain MMA athletes during the class period.”

-The opposition argues that Plaintiffs have switched course in the argument of a combination of monopoly and monopsony allegations but a “multi-faceted “Scheme” of only monopsony-related claims.”

-Zuffa argues that Plaintiffs’ attempt to merely offer proof of harm that is widespread across the class is not sufficient as they must need to prove class wide harm.  They also state that the antitrust claims asserted here are not routine for class action lawsuits.

-Zuffa notes, “[A]lthough Plaintiffs suggest class certification in antitrust cases is routine, no court has

granted class certification in a Sherman Act Section 2 monopsonization case involving allegations

based on unilateral conduct.”

-With respect to their motion to exclude the opinions of Plaintiffs’ experts Drs. Singer and Zimbalist under Daubert, Zuffa argues that regardless of the outcome from the Court, it may still conclude that class certification should be denied.

Payout Perspective:

 The obvious objective of the opposition is to show that Plaintiffs’ claims cannot be tried as a whole and must be tried individually.  If this were to occur, the Plaintiffs would be in a bind logistically and economically as they would be left to prosecute cases for each of the athletes involved in the lawsuit.  Additionally, this would lessen their leverage of settling the cases as well as foreclosing a potential for larger award if they prevail.  Zuffa also stresses the Comcast case in its argument that under a “rigorous analysis” that Plaintiffs liability theory and damages are not tied.

Exonerated after USADA arbitration, Barnett sues supplement maker

April 10, 2018

Josh Barnett has sued the supplement maker that he took which led to a finding of a banned substance by USADA. Barnett prevailed at arbitration with USADA which did not suspend the UFC Heavyweight any amount of time.

Barnett has sued BIOKOR, LLC, which does business as GENKOR, N101, Inc. and owners Mark Wilcox and Alex Lasbroas individually in the Superior Court of Los Angeles.

Despite proving that he did not knowingly take a banned substance, it took over a year for the process of investigation to take place.  The arbitration took place in early March.  Barnett was suspended for a December 9, 2016 infraction which was determined to be ostarine.

Fortunately for Barnett, he kept a detailed accounting of supplements which led to the finding that a supplement by the name of Tributestin purchased at a store in Los Angeles contained ostarine although it was not labeled on the product.

Barnett has sued for Negligence, Strict Products Liability, Breach of Implied Warranty and Breach of Express Warranty.

Payout Perspective:

Lyman Good, Yoel Romero and now Josh Barnett have sued supplement makers after they were flagged by USADA for findings of banned substances.  The claim is that the supplements were tainted and did not contained the banned substance on their label.  These lawsuits will be interesting to keep track of as this may be defense for a fighter flagged by USADA.

Iaquinta replaces Holloway in UFC 223 main event

April 6, 2018

Al Iaquinta has filled in for Max Holloway to take on Khabib Nurmogomedov after it was determined that Holloway could not make the required weight of 155 pounds.

Holloway, filling in on less than a week’s notice, was unable to make the weight according to officials.  One has to wonder whether having Holloway come to Brooklyn to fight made sense considering he was coming off an injury and the compressed time to make the weight.

Paul Felder offered to take the fight but the New York State Athletic Commission indicated that since he was not ranked, he could not take the championship fight.  The reasoning falls in line with what many have advocated with the Ali Act – Felder was not ranked high enough to take the fight for the Championship.

Iaquinta, Felder’s opponent steps in to the main event.  And, it appears there’s a discrepancy on whether this is a title fight or not.


Payout Perspective:

UFC 223 seemed like such a great event and the events of fight week have soured some good fights.  If Iaquinta were to pull an upset over Khabib, the heavy favorite, we could see a strained relationship with the New York State Athletic Commission.

NAC files official complaint against Alvarez

April 1, 2018

ESPN’s Dan Rafael has obtained a copy of the Nevada Athletic Commission Complaint against Canelo Alvarez.  The 8-page Complaint outlines the violations stemming from two failed drug tests for the banned substance Clenbuterol.

Alvarez claims that the findings in his drug tests are a result of tainted meat he likely consumed while training for his May 5th fight in Mexico.  In the past, fighters in boxing and the UFC have been cleared of anti-doping violations due to tainted meat.  Still, the issue is being taken seriously by the NAC which has scheduled a hearing on April 18th.  As a result of the proximity of the hearing to the May 5th rematch with Gennady Golovkin, the huge fight which promises to do as well business-wise and maybe better than last September’s event is in jeopardy.

According to the Complaint, Alvarez failed two urine tests administered by VADA on February 17 and 20th.  The urinalysis was examined by the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory finding Clenbuterol in the samples.

Whether or not Alvarez intended to ingest the banned substance is of no significance according to the Complaint as it is the standard rule.  As a result, his license in Nevada has been temporarily suspended until the April 18th hearing.

Canelo Alvarez by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Payout Perspective:

It’s interesting that there seems to be no urgency in resolving this matter prior to the May 5th event.  With a lot financially at stake, one would think that the parties, including the Commission, would want to expedite the hearing process.  The hearing will be very important and one would think that Alvarez’s lawyers would need to prepare a strategy which would show that it was likely that tainted meat was the cause of the findings.  This might mean providing a daily nutritional regiment for Alvarez which might pinpoint the kind of things he ate which may have caused the findings.

The Interview: Ally Quinney and Sam Erhlich

March 30, 2018

The Interview talks with Florida State University doctrinal students Ally Quinney and Sam Erhlich as they recently presented an upcoming paper at the Sports and Recreation Law Association Conference regarding the privacy concerns with USADA and the UFC anti-doping policy.

In addition to their presentation, we discuss the recent Jon Jones hearing and the Josh Barnett opinion.

We discuss an exchange at the December 2016 Congressional Hearing on Mixed Martial Arts between the sponsor of the expansion to the Muhammad Ali Act, Markwayne Mullin and the UFC’s Jeff Novitsky regarding the reinstatement of Brock Lesnar.

Introductions: 1:04

Discussion about Presentation at SRLA:  2:31

Discussing UFC/USADA deal and the privacy concerns: 3:57

Survey re tracking of athletes provided to Fighters by USADA: 7:23

Discussion regarding leaving USADA testing pool:  11:36

Whether USADA is a state actor: 16:47

Does it matter that USADA is a third party:  20:14

Discussion on the Mark Hunt case: 21:21

Why won’t an Antitrust lawsuit work in this case: 31:24

Discussion about Jon Jones hearing: 33:30

Thoughts on Josh Barnett case:  34:30

Barnett receives only reprimand, no suspension, in USADA Arbitration hearing

March 23, 2018

Josh Barnett became the first UFC athlete to win an appeal through the UFC Anti-Doping Policy as a the opinion issued on Friday gave the heavyweight “no period of ineligibility.”  He only received a public reprimand but no suspension for the flagged drug test.

Josh Barnett wins USADA Arbitration by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd


Barnett tested positive for a banned substance as a result of an out-of-competition sample on December 9, 2016.  The sample tested positive for Ostarine.

Barnett noted that he was routinely taking dietary supplements “to maintain his conditioning as an elite athlete.”  The opinion notes he took 17 supplements prior to providing the sample that came up positive for Ostarine.  Tributestin 750 was one of the supplements that was supposed to contain only Tribulus Terrestris.  Tribulus is not a Prohibited Substance.  “It is claimed to naturally support the production of testosterone among other positive health attributes.”

Through working with USADA, it was discovered through the process of supplement examination that Barnett’s Tributestin was contaminated with Ostarine.  After testimony at the hearing, USADA conceded that the source of the Ostarine found in Barnett’s out-of-competition samples were from Tributestin as the product was contaminated.  With this concession which USADA seemed to admit from the outset and confirmed with Barnett’s testimony, the case “became one of the Applicant being the victim of a Contaminated Product with a Prohibited Substance.”

Barnett’s prior history of failed drug tests was discussed and the matter of whether this was a second infraction of the UFC ADP.  However, the arbitrator determined that a drug sample taken by the California State Athletic Commission

Notably, Barnett, gave the UFC notice that he was taking a “leave of absence” on December 14, 2016.  Two weeks later, his A sample came up positive for Ostarine.

The arbitration hearing took place on March 6, 2018, 14 months after his sample was taken.  The Arbitrator seemed to be persuaded by Barnett’s testimony as he described his detail in trying to make sure that he was compliant with USADA rules.  Notably, after his dealings with the CSAC, he devised a practice of “keeping each original container of any supplement he used and ensuring that a small portion of its content remained and could be analyzed.”  This seemed to sway the trier of fact.

The Arbitrator noted:  “I find this Applicant to be a very meticulous and careful person.  In my experience as an arbitrator of hundreds of doping cases I have never heard testimony from an individual who has taken so much care to record his supplement regime in order to avoid the very problem he is now experiencing.

Payout Perspective:

Barnett’s prior fallout from drug issues was the reason that saved him here.  It was his cataloguing of what he takes plus the samples he had that persuaded USADA.  Could the system be fabricated?  Yes, but the presentation seemed to be compelling to the trier of fact.  So, it was not just cooperation plus providing all of the supplements to USADA, but the original bottles and samples taken which likely ensured that Barnett would not be suspended.  While it was curious that Barnett announced leaving the UFC for a time two weeks prior to his notice of his drug test results, it seemed to be of no consequence in the final conclusion.

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